Johnson & Johnson’s Failure to Warn

Published on Monday, April 18, 2016 by Staff

Johnson & Johnson’s Failure to Warn

A Jury Speaks – Jacqueline Fox v Johnson & Johnson, Inc et al

When her dog Dexter began acting strange and whimpering around her, Jacqueline Fox thought he was just looking for attention. But when she saw a TV special about a pet sensing illness in its owner, she became concerned and made an appointment with her doctor. Much to her shock, Dexter was right – Jacqueline was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Even more upsetting, shortly after her diagnosis, Jacqueline learned of a link between the talc contained in Johnson’s® Baby Powder and ovarian cancer. You see, every day since her childhood, Jacqueline sprinkled Johnson’s® Baby Powder on her underwear, a practice she learned from her mother over 50 years ago.

As an adult, Jacqueline had worked in restaurants and school cafeterias, cleaned houses, babysat and raised her children. In all those situations she remembered her mother’s caution—use Johnson’s® Baby Powder regularly because “we ladies need to be fresh.” Before her illness, it never occurred to her that Johnson’s® Baby Powder could be unsafe. She trusted the product. After all, it had been around for a long time and it was made to use on babies.

Johnson’s® Baby Powder has been available to consumers for over 100 years. Though early advertising suggested that mothers also could use the powder, it wasn’t until the 1960s that marketing targeted to women was launched in earnest. Despite Johnson & Johnson's (JandJ) awareness of the scientific studies linking talc to ovarian cancer, JandJ never warned its Johnson’s® Baby Powder consumers about that link.

In February of 2016, after hearing all of the evidence in Jacqueline Fox’s lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn her about the link between talc-containing Johnson’s® Baby Powder and ovarian cancer, the jury agreed: Johnson & Johnson failed to warn about the risk of ovarian cancer. The jury awarded Jacqueline Fox’s family (she died before the trial) $72million.

Despite this jury’s conclusion that Johnson & Johnson should have warned Jacqueline Fox about the risk of ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson continues to sell talc-containing Johnson’s® Baby Powder without any such warning and continues to deny that any such risk exists.


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